Alison Daigle (right) wrote and directed a play, Arabian Nights: The Framing of Sherazade, for her senior honors project.

IWU Senior Takes A Different Approach to Senior Honors Project

April 21, 2005

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - During the weekend of April 1, Illinois Wesleyan senior theatre arts major, Alison Daigle presented the final product of her senior honors project, Arabian Nights: The Framing of Sherazade on the stage of the Phoenix Theatre in Memorial Center. Rather than write a paper, which is the most common approach students take for this project, Daigle collaborated with Sara Freeman, assistant professor of theatre history, and chose to write and direct a play.

During the research process, Daigle decided to focus on 1001 Arabian Nights and began a year of study and a semester of intense rehearsals with seven student actresses.

Daigle and her cast used a series of free-write activities and improvisational exercises to adapt the tales into a play. The performance focused on the subservient role of women in the Middle East and Northern Africa and the lost joy of storytelling.

The cast of Arabian Nights: The Framing of Sherazade included:

--Sally Bell of St. Louis, theatre arts and English major, graduate of Parkway North High School;

--Annie DiMaria of Morton Grove, Ill., theatre arts major, graduate of Niles Township West High School

--Katie Genualdi of Park Ridge, Ill., theatre arts major, graduate of Maine Township South High School

--Lisa Karlin of Overland Park, Kan., music theatre major, graduate of Saint Thomas Aquinas High School;

--Liz Olson of Red Wing, Minn., theatre arts major, graduate of Red Wing High School;

--Rachel Price of New Lenox, Ill., theatre arts major, graduate of Lane Technical High School; and

--Elizabeth Williams of New York City, music theatre major, graduate of Trinity School.

Contact: Taylar Kuzniar (309) 556-3181